PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The National Women’s Soccer League Championship will no longer be held at Portland’s Providence Park this year.
According to the NWSL, the championship match will now move from Portland to Louisville at the request of the league’s players. Portland was the only city that submitted an initial bid to host the game, which had a strict 9 a.m. PT kickoff time due to time difference and a locked window on CBS.
That timing was criticized by players and fans alike. Now with this move to Lousiville, the match will be played at 12 p.m. ET.
After the move was announced on Wednesday morning, the Portland Thorns released a statement saying the 9 a.m. kickoff time was less than ideal and the organization is happy there is now a resolution that works for everyone.
NWSL says the league understands the impact this move has on fans who have already bought tickets and made travel arrangements.
“We hope that our fans will understand that this move is made with the support of the NWSL, the Players Association, the Portland Thorns, and Racing Louisville,” the league said in a statement. “Portland understood the importance of listening to the players, and Louisville stepped up to host. Players embraced the opportunity to kickoff at noon local time in a fantastic venue. We sincerely hope that fans will consider making this move east with us, or that you watch this historic game on CBS.”
According to the Thorns, more information is forthcoming for those who have already purchased tickets.
The NWSL said they have “also worked to come to an agreement on several of the demands” given by the players’ union last week and will work to finalize the remaining items in the coming days. Because of the league’s wording, it is unclear whether any agreements have officially been made or if negotiations for all demands are still ongoing.
“We are all dedicated to rebuilding a league that protects and promotes the best athletes in the world and that is focused on the players, their health, and their safety,” the league said.